New York Jets: Buy or Sell on Their 13 Free Agents
The New York Jets have made big moves over the past few offseasons, bringing in some of the top talent on the market.
With free agency frozen due to the current lockout situation, the Jets will be getting a later start than normal on both signing free agents and re-signing their own players.
It is very difficult to predict who will hit the market, so as opposed to looking at who the Jets could add, this slideshow instead focuses on which current free agents on the Jets roster will return next season, and which ones will be sent packing.
As always, feel free to offer your opinion of whom the Jets will keep.
Antonio Cromartie: Buy
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The New York Jets traded for Antonio Cromartie prior to last season to play opposite of stud Darrelle Revis.
Cromartie had a solid season for Gang Green, and was actually more effective than Revis when covering Randy Moss.
The Jets drafted a corner in the first round of last year's draft in Kyle Wilson, and there are some good ones in this year's draft, which will give New York options.
I very much believe that Cromartie wants to stay in New York, where he believes he has the best chance of contributing to a Super Bowl effort. Add in the fact that Kyle Wilson is not yet ready to take over his position, and it seems like the Jets will be re-signing Cromartie.
The one big wild card in this entire situation is Nnamdi Asomugha, and if the Jets can somehow afford him, then they would kick Cromartie right out the door.
Santonio Holmes: Buy
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If I had to pick one free agent on this list who I think is the most important player for the Jets to re-sign, it would have to be Santonio Holmes.
Holmes is the most dependent receiver on the team and was hugely important to the development of Mark Sanchez last season.
Holmes also seems to have gotten his act together since joining the Jets, and New York shouldn't worry about any more suspensions when talking contracts with him.
Although the Jets may not be able to return all three of their free agent receivers, Holmes is the one who is the most important to bring back.
Braylon Edwards: Sell
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This may raise a few eyebrows, but I don't think the Jets need to or will re-sign Braylon Edwards.
Edwards had some great touchdowns for the Jets and was especially successful on the long ball. The problem is that too many times, Jets fans found themselves being frustrated by drops from Edwards.
Another reason I think the Jets won't re-sign Edwards is because there are already rumors surrounding Randy Moss coming to the Jets, and even if that is not the case, they could draft a tall wideout in the third round.
If the Jets want to sign any of the better free agents this summer, they are not going to be able sign both Holmes and Edwards, and unfortunately for Braylon he has less value.
Brad Smith: Sell
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Brad Smith brings a lot to the Jets team, whether it be returning kickoffs, running the Wildcat or catching a pass.
The reason I don't see Smith back next season is because in all of those aspects, he can be replaced by players who are just as good at it, and after this breakout season, Smith is going to cost a lot more than those other options.
Antonio Cromartie showed that he can not only return kickoffs, but do it consistently well. Smith really added little as a receiver, and his contributions there will not be missed.
The biggest place the Jets would miss Smith would be running the Wildcat, but I think the Jets may draft a dual-threat quarterback to back up Sanchez, and he could come in for those situations.
The final piece of evidence I have for the Jets letting him go would be the treatment of Leon Washington, who was the do-it-all a few years back, but the Jets still let him go.
Brodney Pool: Sell
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Brodney Pool was brought in to fill the loss of Kerry Rhodes, and although he did not perform as well as some hoped, he did an okay job.
That being said, Pool was nothing special and will probably be gone from New York this offseason.
Even with the injury to Jim Leonard, Pool is projected by many to be replaced by a safety from the draft.
Safety is one of the weaker positions on the Jets roster, but they may want to rebuild through the draft and cut ties with Brodney Pool.
Shaun Ellis: Buy
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While the Jets may be weak at safety, defensive line is by far the biggest hole on this team.
The Jets are so desperate on their defensive line that even though Shaun Eliis' production has dropped a lot over the past few years, they should still re-sign him to another contract.
Ellis has been a staple on the Jets defensive line for many years now, and still has shown bright spots.
The Jets are sure to add another defensive lineman or two during the draft, but they should also bring back Shaun Ellis, who can contribute as a pass rusher.
Tony Richardson: Sell
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Tony Richardson has been a leader on the Jets for the past three years, but at 39 years old, it is time for the Hall of Fame fullback to hang up the cleats.
Last season Richardson was more valuable in the locker room than on the field, and the Jets need to move ahead at the fullback position.
In 2010 the Jets drafted John Connor, who has been very impressive in his play so far and will be the starting fullback for the franchise moving forward.
The Jets may bring back Richardson in a non-player role, but I don't see them offering him another contract this offseason.
Drew Coleman: Buy
Drew Coleman had a breakout year for the Jets last season, and at only 27 years old he could still have another few good years left in him.
Coleman will never be a starting corner for the Jets, but he adds great value as a nickelback and can also play safety if needed.
The best part about Coleman is that even though he had a great season, he should still come relatively cheap.
If the Jets draft a corner, Coleman could be gone, but if not they would be stupid not to re-sign him.
Eric Smith: Buy
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Eric Smith is one of the players who I think the Jets will have the toughest time deciding what to do.
Smith adds depth at the safety position and is also one of the best hitters on the team. Of course coming along with this is the potential for dirty play, which he showed when he hit Wes Welker last season.
Smith has improved every year, and after the Jets have already put five years of time into him, I don't think they will let him go now.
On the other hand, the Jets could stay away from Smith because of those hits.
James Ihedigbo: Sell
Another safety and another tough decision for the Jets is James Ihedigbo.
I believe that Ihedigbo is one of Rex Ryan's favorite players, but on the field he only really contributes on special teams.
The Jets would love to have Ihedigbo back as a special teams ace, but he may be offered more money to play more prominently somewhere else.
Ihedigbo is one of the best personalities on the Jets, and that could play a role on the decision the organization makes.
Nick Folk: Sell
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It is going to be tough to cut the guy who put the Jets past the Colts in the wild-card round of the playoffs, but Nick Folk struggled too much at points in the year for the Jets to flat out give him a new contract.
As is often the case with kickers and punters, I believe the Jets will go into training camp with an open competition for the kicking job, and I am sure Folk will be in the mix.
Folk has been on thin ice ever since the 2010 season, and other possible replacements were brought in to work out with the team in November. However, Folk was retained.
Nick Folk could be the Jets kicker come next season, but they are not going to just give him a contract without looking at other options first.
Steve Weatherford: Sell
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Had I posted this at the end of the regular season, I would have put Weatherford as a sure buy, as he tied the NFL record for most punts inside the 20 in a single season.
The problem is that Weatherford then went into the playoffs and sent almost every punt off the side of his foot and went from being a strength to a weakness.
The Jets will have playoff ambitions again next season, and they can't have a punter who gets so nervous in those high-pressure situations.
I will add that Weatherford did a great job as a holder for the Jets and that could help his cause.
Kellen Clemens: Sell
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The final player on this list has been so loyal to the Jets organization, as shown in last summer's HBO Hard Knocks, that it will be hard to send him packing.
It seems as though it would be best for both the Jets and Kellen Clemens if he got a fresh start with another organization. This would give Clemens a chance to compete for a starting job and the Jets a free spot to draft a dual-threat quarterback.
Clemens has never been very impressive when on the field, and the Jets can give him up without feeling like they are letting the next great one get away.
If the Jets had the option of keeping either Clemens or Mark Brunell, I would pick Clemens in a heartbeat, but unfortunately Brunell is locked up for another year, and there wont be space for Clemens.